Surprise! Price starts vs. Toronto, Habs sign Swiss free-agent

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AUDIO from practice in TO: Carey Price | Michael Cammalleri | Jacques Martin

To no one’s surprise, Carey Price will get the start in goal Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs in both teams’ 82nd and final game of the regular season.

All other lineup decisions will be made tomorrow by head coach Jacques Martin, but speculation is that defenceman Hal Gill, who had a therapy day today, will get the night off. Forward Travis Moen, who sat out Thursday in Ottawa, also had a therapy day today.

The Canadiens will move up to sixth place to draw the No. 3-seeded Eastern team if the Buffalo Sabres lose in regulation tonight, or if the Habs win in Toronto.

•  •  •

The Canadiens have signed free-agent forwrd Alain Berger, a native of Switzerland who plays junior hockey in the OHL.

The team announcement:

Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of free agent left winger Alain Berger to a three-year contract (2011-12 to 2013-14). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Berger registered 52 points (29 goals and 23 assists) in 65 games this season with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Oshawa Generals. Fourteen of his goals were scored on the power play and one while shorthanded. He added 86 penalty minutes and displayed a +19 plus/minus differential. The 20-year old forward has registered five points (4 goals, 1 assist) thus far in six playoff contests.
In two complete seasons with the Generals, the 6’4″, 209 lbs forward, hailing from Burgdorf in Switzerland, totaled 85 points (48 goals, 37 assists) with 142 penalty minutes in 109 games.
Berger also played with Bern of the Swiss National League A and with the Neuchatel Young-Sprinters of the Swiss National League B, in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

315 Comments

  1. 24 Cups says:

    Nashville made the playoffs tonight as SK74 scored another goal. His tally made him (in theory) the 2nd highest scoring forward on the Habs.

    No surprise there. You could see that one coming a mile away.

  2. observer says:

    Leafs sign runnerup for 2011 Hobey Baker will play against Habs tomorrow night.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=361419

  3. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Are people here really worried about Price getting hurt? I’m more worried about the dirtbag Leafs taking runs at players like Subbie, Pleks or Gio.

  4. doogie says:

    Palushaj has the hat trick for the Bulldogs in Winnipeg tonight. Dawes has one as well. 4-2 Dogs with 10 minutes to go in the 3rd. Sounds like they’re playing very well going into the playoffs.

  5. rocketsglare says:

    I’m for beating the Leafs regardless what team the Habs draw in the
    1st round of the playoffs.

  6. king ddd says:

    alain berger looks interesting, hes big from the videos Ive seen hes got some physical element. definitely can be 3rd line player, maybe he can be a poor man Thomas holmstorm, teach him to crash the net, let him develop in the ahl for a while and we can have good power forward. i know i said hes a 3rd line but if he shows some skill max-eller-alain can be a dandy

    ** Buck Fruins **

  7. observer says:

    By gametime tomorrow night the playoff picture might be clearer for the Habs. Do they want to avoid Boston? It may be in their hands alone or they may need Buffalo’s help as well. Do you think Buffalo would rather play either Pittsburgh/Philadelphia OR Boston?

  8. rocketsglare says:

    If Habs want to remain in 6th, they will have to defeat the Leafs
    tomorrow night. That should set up a great game with so much at
    stake for the Habs. I hope the team doesn’t take this game lightly
    and plays to win. Nothing like beating the Leafs and going into the
    playoffs on a high note. Get it done boys!

    • 24 Cups says:

      rg – It’s plain and simple after Buffalo’s win tonight – the Habs have to come out full throttle against Toronto. All hands on deck with the possible exception of Hamrlik who could use a few days rest. A 6th place finish is now a major priority.

      • _Habsoloutly_ says:

        Why is it so important which team we are gonna play?

        • observer says:

          BECAUSE BOSTON HAS GOTTEN INTO THEIR HEADS WITH THAT PHYSICAL PLAY. LET SOMEONE ELSE KNOCK THEM OFF FIRST.

        • 24 Cups says:

          James – I hear ya’.

          I guess it comes down to two possibilities. We go up against Philly or Pittsburgh, or face Boston.

          I still can’t see Pittsburgh being a contender without their best two players and I also am a bit gun shy from the way Philly owned us the past few years. On the other hand, we usually whip the Bruins even though they are better than most HI/O fans would like to admit.

          Is it important? Probably not.

          My weekend is set. Masters/Habs on Saturday and then Masters/Kennedys on Sunday.

          • _Habsoloutly_ says:

            I don’t know, I just don’t see much of difference between the possibilities. It’s gonna be a tough first round for us either way. I’ll be watching the Masters as well, and I’ll be glued to the screen watching the Habs/Leafs game.

      • observer says:

        why? if it means facing boston it will be a priority to lose if that is all it takes. id rather face philly or pitts right now -DEFINATELY!

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        With the way PHI is floundering because Chris Pronger isn’t around to hold their hands and do that punk Mike Richard’s job for him, it wouldn’t be that bad, if PHI flops against NYI tommorow and PIT wins their last game, we could play a Crosby, Malkin-less Pens and we beat them last year when they had them. That and Cammy is a total Penguins-killer.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  9. habsfaninboston says:

    Sabres win in OT.

  10. OneTimer says:

    Ya, so, the last minute of play in Buffalo tonight was a disgrace. They have to change the overtime point rules. 3-2-1-0 point system, please.

    • smiler2729 says:

      3-2-1-0 is stupid, who the hell wants teams to have 200 pt seasons?

      Make it 2 pts for a Regulation WIN but only 1 pt for an OT/SO WIN and NOTHING for losing.

      THAT would end that crap and bring back the integrity of a 100 pt season being the exception rather than the norm.

      “My second favourite team is whoever plays the Leafs”

      • OneTimer says:

        Who cares what the total number is? Are you actually telling me that a number is going to bother you? I’d rather have a better system.

        2-1-0 might work too, though.

  11. smiler2729 says:

    Sabres WIN in OT, clinch a Playoff spot.

    “My second favourite team is whoever plays the Leafs”

  12. Born in a Bad Year says:

    With all the injuries in Colorado on defense, there is a little Bulldog reunion, with O’Byrne and Shawn Belle as a pairing.

  13. yukonhab says:

    Looking forward to tomorrow nite’s rassle with Leafs. No rest for the wicked! This will be a good test for the intensity that will be laid upon them next week. In Habs we trust!

    Price 31

  14. ABHabsfan says:

    In a side note: Habs prospects Mac Bennett and Greg Pateryn of the Michigan Wolverines will play for the NCAA National Championship tomorrow against U of Minnesota- Duluth. I think we have a guy on that team as well but I’m not sure. (SF09, a little help here?). I really like the game of Pateryn. Big and fast. His d partner is Bennett. I don’t know where on TV to find it in Canada, I believe it is on ESPN2. It would be worth a watch if it doesn’t conflict with the Masters. (Mcilroy is gonna take it IMO)
    Found it: Scott Kishel is a d-man for UM-D. Drafted in the 7th in 2007 by Habs

    • Mark C says:

      Scott Kishel (D), a former 7th round pick and a fairly nondescript prospect who has only gotten into 7 games this season.

      I only saw a few bits of the game, but I did like what I saw from Bennett and Pateryn.

    • doogie says:

      Great post! College hockey is awesome in the U.S. too, I went to Ferris State for 4 years and saw some outstanding players come into town. The upside for college hockey is the amount of time devoted to practice and skill development. Practice every day for a couple of hours, when I was there, and then games on the weekend. Players got a ton of good coaching, great skating teams come out of NCAA schools as a result. Best Ferris State guy was Chris Kunitz.

      Michigan runs a great program, and Red Berenson is the dean of college hockey. Hope they win, as I’m sure Cammy and Max Pac do as well.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Habs have 5 former or current Michigan Wolverines in their organization. Mike Cammalleri, Max Pacioretty, Aaron Palushaj and as mentioned, Bennett and Pateryn.

      Next year, Habs will have a trio of players at North Dakota with 2010 pick Mark MacMillan as a Freshman, 2009 pick Mike Cichy as a Sophomore and I’m expecting Kristo to play his Junior year.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  15. larisalapointe says:

    “It will be a quick offseason if it keeps going the way it’s going,” forward Scott Hartnell told reporters this week.

    It seems since Philly’s number 1 goaltender Chris Pronger has been out, they haven’t been doing too well. Philly/Mtl could go better than expected?

    Since Philly was 7 points ahead of everyone in 1st place.
    8-11-4 Philly
    12-10-1 Mtl

  16. thehabs21 says:

    QUIT HARASSING CAREY ABOUT HALAK QUESTIONS. LET HIM PLAY HIS GAME ! HES MUCH BETTER THEN HALAK

  17. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Haven’t been around in a while – what happened to the thumbs up/down thing?

    Oh, and Price starting is totally okay – if he didn’t he’d be inactive for an eternity.

  18. Mark C says:

    Tampa is playing Roloson, Pitts playing MAF, and the Wings are playing Howard tonight.

    Guy the Great, Babcock, and Bylsma all see it fit to play their #1’s tonight in fairly meaningless games, why is JM taking so much heat?

  19. otter649 says:

    Skinner is having a great rookie season but would one make a one for one trade – Skinner for Subban ? I would take Subban over Skinner as Dmen like Subban don’t come around that often IMO………

  20. adam76 says:

    Jeff Skinner is an amazing player. Unreal.

  21. LA Loyalist says:

    I can’t get how so many of you guys want Price and PK to play tomorrow night against the Leafs?

    I hope you guys are the first ones on here groveling if one of them tweaks a groin – or worse – and can’t start in the playoffs.

  22. gp52 says:

    season is too long !!

  23. SeriousFan09 says:

    His OHL numbers don’t stand out but I will always welcome some depth to the farm.

    Andrew Berkshire horned in on my turf and already pulled some scouting data. http://sbn.to/fBT9cC

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  24. Keith says:

    He may be tall at 6’4″, but at only 209 lbs he doesn’t have alot of meat on his bones. All I got to say is…HIT THE GYM KID! And eat lots of protein.

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Hi Keith, sure sounds like a good signing.
      Fredericton snow gone yet my friend?

      • Strabo says:

        The snow is gone in Freddy Beach. Now it’s a guessing game to see if the mighty Saint John river is going to flood this year.

        “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

    • Jim Edson says:

      He’ll be a bookend for Pouliot!

      …..My empire is crumbling, my international sponsors are deserting me, my authority is questioned, I am held in contempt wherever I go.

      Who am I: Mohamar Ghadaffi or Gary Bettman.

  25. db says:

    I like the swiss guys the Habs have had in the past… really nice people. And most of them seem to know how to shoot. Oh, and a forward taller than our goalie? sweeeeet

  26. Ian Cobb says:

    I think Martin wants the two points to stay in 6th and play the 3rd placed team. So I guess he wants to play the Bean town boys!

  27. solomio says:

    Playing Price is the mistake of the year. He is Habs ONLY hope for the playoffs and the Habs are risking losing him due to injury in a nothing game against a spiteful and vindictive team. I really hope somebody in Management or Ownership sees the folly in this decision.It is just so wrong.
    Everybody please speak out

    • So they should let Price sit, cold for almost 2 weeks? No thanks.

    • observer says:

      he doesnt wear his mask or a helmet sitting in the stands and is more likely to get injured there by a errant puck or some spilled beer into his eyes.

    • rob_c says:

      Relax buddy. Price has been in our organization since ’05 and to my memory he has never been injured. At least not significantly. It’s just another game man. Despite your delusions NOBODY on the leafs or any other non playoff team for that matter would go out of their way to injure our goalie. Mistake of the year???? I don’t know man I could think of a lot bigger mistakes then playing Price in a game against the leafs. Your logic is terrible. Look at ALL THE OTHER PLAYOFF TEAMS THAT CLINCHED. They still play their number one goalies in games man. You telling me that Vancouver would rest Luongo for a month lmfao. Stupid post all around.

    • Chuck says:

      You make it sound as though the only mandate for the Leafs tomorrow night is to come out with their sticks swinging at Price’s head.

    • smiler2729 says:

      Chill out buddy, it’s not like Markov’s gonna skate over the back of his leg. Let him play, it’s a game and he’s the goalie. I know I’d wanna play if I were him.

      F the Leafs. F Toronto.

      “My second favourite team is whoever plays the Leafs”

    • Jeff says:

      Easy fella, the Leafs have never run or deliberatley hurt an opponent, especially one heading into the playoffs.

      Vindictive & spiteful….why is that?

      The Leafs lead the series, are younger, stronger, faster, more talented & are the future Cup winners in Canada.

      I have to agree with your correct assertion that the Smurfs ONLY hope is PRICE.

      Good luck, they’ll need it.

      It’s too bad you guys are saddled with those old, burnt out, injured, smallish team.

      It’s not our fault, we actually feel sorry for you.

      Habs are Pretenders !

  28. LA Loyalist says:

    Sobering thought next time you run into Gary Bettman (tip: back up and run over him again)

    Assuming Ducks make the playoffs, California will have 3 teams in the playoffs (Ducks, Kings, San Jose). Canada will have two (Habs, Nucks).

    Sobering.

    • solomio says:

      Not at all. Pam Anderson lives there

    • observer says:

      Los Angeles has 2 hockey teams and Montreal and Toronto don’t.That says it all!

      • GrimJim says:

        The Los Angeles metropolitan area has a population of 12,298,000 whereas Mtl and To combine for 8,952,000 (2005 statistics on wiki). LA also supports two baseball teams, two basketball teams and no football teams, so two seems to be LA’s magic number.
        Chicago by itself has 8,814,000 but only one NHL team. Maybe the real conspiracy is why is Bettman holding Chicago back?
        Or Mexico City? Population 18 million and no NHL teams. Cmon Observer, why does Gary not like Mexico?

        • punkster says:

          Like a surgical cruise missile strike, Jim once again blasts massive holes in the observer’s observations. Boom!

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • Jeff says:

            Hang on, half the pop of LA is illegal Mexicans and the other half are blacks who only support basketball.

            At this point, both Montreal and Toronto hockey teams are pretenders.

            At least Toronto has a baseball team that WON 2 World series back to back. Basketball who cares? Football, phffttt.

            Does Montreal have any other so-called Professional sports teams? Oh yah, Da Alouettes…whoooeeeee.

            Toronto could easily support two NHL teams. Montreal only supports a winning Hockey team, so you Hab fans can leave now.

            HABS are Pretenders !

        • Maksimir says:

          HA! The Mexico City Hombres – starting goalie Juan Roy!

  29. DearyLeary says:

    So we just signed a big Swiss dog named Alain Berger. 6’4″, 200+, scored some points in the OHL as an overager.

    Interesting.

  30. I must admit, I haven’t been as excited about a player on the Canadiens as I am for Subban since Roy, and I was just a kid then. I must have watched that “How ya like me now” video like 20 times already. And Subban’s first goal in Minnesota was so Forsbergian, could be goal of the year.

  31. Timo says:

    So when do the playoffs start – Wednesday? Man oh man… stomach butterflies already.

  32. HNS says:

    Sens re-sign Murray for three years? What are they smokin???

  33. krob1000 says:

    Raaarrrrrr! Tiger surging…a crazy up and down day but 3 birdies ina row and two par 5’s left. 3 bogies and 5 birdies on 10 holes….how do these guys regain their focus?

    whimper…..Manny being Manny retires after another failed dope test…geez

  34. Habby says:

    Ok guys I have a question. I know the Habs are in Toronto, but does anyone know where exaclty they are? I’m not a stalker, I’m just curious. I’ve never seen any hockey players around town. Is there a particular hotel they stay at?

    The drive for 25 is alive!

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I would guess the Fairmont Royal York as it’s right by the rink. I stayed at the Park Plaza last summer and the teams playing the Blue Jays stayed there (Yonge and Bay) so that’s the possibility. Maybe the King Eddie, too, but there is no parking there and it’s probably too small. Or somewhere new on the Lakeshore I don’t know about.

  35. Bugs says:

    There once was a team in the Dance,
    Polished and preened and ready to prance.
    Be it Flyers or Bruins,
    T’matters not which buffoons,
    We score first, they’ll be sh*ttin their pants.

    (Had “They’ll be found in a ditch with no pants” at first but thought that might be a little too…rough, shall we say. Decided to not push the boundaries of impropriety and keep that one to myself. So chalk me up another notch in the Respect Book, will you? Cuz what I did there to NOT go with that line merits me some cred, I reckon. Thanks.)

    Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  36. ed lopaz says:

    For Mark, sorry i stepped away from my computer so I could not reply.

    sometimes even if the risk is less than 0.1% that something will happen, you still make the choice to take the risk to 0%.

    this is the situation.

    if anything happens to price on saturday, all 82 games will have been played for nothing.

    there is no one in his right mind who believes that without Price we are a contending team.

    some here – like SF 09 – are suggesting that Price is the Hart winner (or a finalist) because he is SO VALUABLE TO THE HABS.

    And you know what – I agree with him.

    therefore, Price MUST SIT on saturday.

    The leaf games are not a “normal” game.

    There is some bad blood there- and running price is a very real possibility,

    because frankly, we have trouble protecting him.

    Price is his own protector- which really worries me.

    I understand your point of view – I just disagree.

    because in THIS SITUATION,

    0% risk means a healthy price is 100% starting next Thursday.

    And that’s the game that counts.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • Chorske says:

      This post is best read hiding under blankets, with ITS THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT blasting in the background

      • Bugs says:

        I hear that song and it’s “Independance Day”, baby.
        -“Fat lady hasn’t sung yet! I ain’t heard no fat lady!”
        -“Forget the fat lady. You’re obsessed with fat lady. Just get us out of here!”

        Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

      • ed lopaz says:

        is that where you read it – under your blanket – really should get your day on the way now.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • light_n_tasty says:

      Or maybe, if Price doesn’t play on Saturday, he’ll pull something in game 1 of the playoffs because he had a 2 week break between games. Probably just as much chance of that happening.

      Or maybe, whilst sitting on the bench against the Laffs, he gets beaned in the head with a puck and be out indefinitely. Probably just as much chance of that happening.

      And so on.

    • punkster says:

      There is no way any team would sit any player because they think someone would try to hurt that player. It’s their job to play and that’s why they get paid the big bucks. I suppose the Habs should also sit their top 6 forwards and top 4 D as well because with any of them out our playoffs are over? Really! That’s just as reprehensible as tanking for higher draft picks.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

      • light_n_tasty says:

        In 2007-08 Pittsburgh sat out Crosby in their final regular season game against Philly as a precaution because someone on Philly would injure him. Habs may have won the conference for that very reason.

      • ed lopaz says:

        NHL players have been sitting out the last game for years.

        Especially starting goalies.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

        • punkster says:

          Maybe so but not what I said.
          Edit…Maybe so but not what I said. Do they sit out players out of fear? Do they sit out players to purposely lose?

          ***Subbang Baby!!!***

          • ed lopaz says:

            we are not purposely losing or sitting price out of fear.

            in my mind, its taking “every precaution” so as to maximize the chances that price can at least start the playoffs next thursday healthy.

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        We don’t have top 6 forwards and top 4 D, so aside from Price and PK and I’ll spot you Cammi, it’s not apples and apples.

    • joeybarrie says:

      What happens if something happens to Price in the first game of the playoffs?????
      What happens if something happens to Price on his way home?
      What if something happens to the team on Saturday because Price is NOT in nets?
      What happens if we end up in 7th and play Philly instead of Boston and PK gets hurt by Richards?

      You can’t say just because you made it to the playoffs that everyone gets time off in case they get injured. You can’t play the game risking nothing and expect the fans to be happy. And I do not want Price going in to the first game of the playoffs having not played a game in a week.

      The Leafs games are normal for the players…

      • Jeff says:

        You are inconsistent Joeseph, Leafs are a Southern team..whatever!

        The Leafs at this point are so much better than the Smurfs it is so sad they represent one of the Canadian teams in the playoffs.

        All the real contenders are just salivating at meeting the Habnots, meeting the Leafs would be a sphincter tightening experience.

        PRETENDERS!

        29 teams will not win the CUP!

        • _Habsoloutly_ says:

          Leafs SUCK! How many seasons now with no playoffs????? What a JOKE franchise with pathetic sheep for fans! How many years since they won a cup??? hahahahahahhahahhahhaa

    • LA Loyalist says:

      You are right. It’s smart to sit Price and PK. This is not the all-star game.

      Leafs would LOVE to handicap us going to the playoffs.

    • Jeff says:

      The Leafs do not run players like Price; however, if PK Smartmouth acts up…well

      Habnots are PRETENDERS!

      • Nina76 says:

        Jeff…To.does run the goalies..ARE YOU JEALOUS OF PK? ………..WHAT APLAYER HE IS HOPE HE DOES SHOOT HIS MOUTH OFF TO ANY OF YOUR STUPID PLAYERS. You may think we are soft but NOOOOOOOOOOOT, our smurfs can hit.LOOK OUT!!!

    • habstrinifan says:

      Good decision to start Price. Leafs will be a mor eintense test than Ottawa was for the team. And this keeps his focus and skillset sharp and primed.

      The habs should be treating this game in Toronto as a BIG GAME.

    • Mark C says:

      To Ed not sure why it got bumped this low on the page.

      That’s fine, and I agree with your opinion. However, I just didn’t agree when you said there was no logic to this decision, which I think is wrong. The logic is to make sure Price is sharp and has his timing down. Practice isn’t the same as game action, and I think it has to be considered that there is a chance that going almost 10 days between games, there is a risk Price’s game could suffer. This is all risk/reward and I’m sure Price feels the need to play.

  37. jimmy shaker says:

    Hey piece of shite JM, at least wait to see if the sabres win or lose tonight. If they lose than there is no reason to play carey, even if they win I would still go with auld…….let carey relax for the love of God. What a stupid jabroni this coach is. Absolute moron……there is no reason to play price and risk injury or allow him to get lit up vs a leaf team that always plays us tough, combined with what’s going to be another lacidasical effort from the team in front of him, just like ottawa on thursday night! Boom goes the dynamite!

    Shaker

  38. J_P says:

    you know what. As much as many of us (myself very much included) complain about the habs, it could be WAY worse. We could all be senators fans.

    Bryan Murray just re-signed for 3 years….what a joke!

  39. EricInStL says:

    Bold prediction of the year. The server will crash. But when during the game.

    Please state your prediction right here please:

    10:15pm

    The winner gets a 1 year subscription to the sunday edition of the Gazette.

  40. Habfan29 says:

    If Sabres win tonight do the habs drop to 7th?

  41. Bryant
    Play Price for half the Game tonight and Auld for the last half!! All though we no longer have a rivalry with T.O.. they still want to do us harm!!

  42. king ddd says:

    nothing against pekka rinne, but i fail to see why many people are considering pekka rinne over carey price for heart and vezina. maybe because i don’t see him play at all makes me think that.but seriously though carey price should be the heart winner (screw the sedins and the flopper), look at all the injuries, no offence, but yet care has 37(potentially 38) wins most mins played 8 shut outs

    ** Buck Fruins **

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      Rinne’s also enjoyed Weber-Suter as his top defensive pairing this season, that’s a hell of a lot of help. Weber should have won a Norris trophy by now but hasn’t because of where he plays.

      Rinne statistically has a case for the Vezina, but he hasn’t put in enough games and neither has Thomas for the Hart. Only two viable Hart candidates IMO are Perry, who dragged the Ducks to the Playoffs and Price who put the team on his back this season. It’s time we started recognizing once again, the Hart is to the player judged to be most valuable to his team. Canucks showed last season they can miss D. Sedin for 20 games and live. Ducks are only in it because Perry became a scoring maniac when Getzlaf went down, MTL’s in it because Price can outduel any goalie on any night and steal games.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

    • Bugs says:

      That’s because you, as well as a lot of other folks, me included, “fail to see” the guy play AT ALL in Nashville, nevermind how well.

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  43. rocketsglare says:

    You want to go into the playoffs on a high note and in a groove. I can see the Habs pick up their game this Saturday and play with more intensity and focus given the significance of the opponent they are playing and the importance of a solid road win
    on the eve of the playoffs.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Habs have shown very little killer instinct this year.

      It’s more dangerous in the queue at a church pancake supper than it is in the slot in front of our opponent’s net most nights.

      Some posters posit that a serious Habs team will show up when it counts – Payday.

      • drivefor25 says:

        Granted, those pancake supper queues are bad, but the crush of frantic grannies at the rummage sale can maim an ususpecting soul for life!

        Fan since ’71

  44. DearyLeary says:

    I just don’t care about Toronto games any more. They’re a nuisance more than anything. Boston, Philly, Carolina… I hate those teams.

  45. You can kinda see the headlines coming from Toronto if the Laffs win on Saturday. “Leafs beat Habs, therfore Leafs are the better team and should be in the playoffs, not them”.

    Man I hate the Leafs again. Boston overtook them in my vitriol department, but the Leafs are right back up there.

    I’m NUKING T.O. if ONE HAB goes down from a cheap shot.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      …and what if TWO Habs go down?

      Use lower yield weapons and spread your targets to Toronto proper, Mississauga, Scarborough, etc., That way you have some flexibility.

    • Jeff says:

      No way the Leafs run anyone, it will be a typical game with the Leafs prevailing in all aspects.

      The Buds are so much better that they will probably play with the Smurfs for 2 periods then bury them to take the season series in style/

      Remember the Leafs have the lead in the series.

      Four and out for the PRETENDERS!

      Most NHL teams are Pretenders !

  46. Alex Rio says:

    Hello, all.
    question to the commentariat and the people in charge of HIO

    1) where did the like and dislike buttons go?
    2) i can no longer see live game blog of boone on my iphone (which is where i usually read HIO)
    anyone know solutions to this>?

    i appreciate the feedback, and hope for some replies!

    thanks!

  47. J_P says:

    I dont care who’s starting or who’s sitting on saturday night. I’m not worried about injuries. A player can just as easily get injured in the first game of the playoffs. What worries me is the habs powerplay.

    To not even get one decent scoring chance on the 5 minute major last night was an absolute joke.

    The habs don’t have huge enforcers, or heavy hitters. The only way to stop the opposition from taking liberties is to make sure we make them pay on the powerplay. What a bad message it sent last night: “run our guy from behind, and not only will no one stand up for him, but we wont even get a scoring chance on the 5 minute powerplay”.

    To me, there is no better deterrent than making the oppisition pay on the scoreboard for the liberties they take.

  48. habs001 says:

    if we lose sat the habs will be the only playoff team with a losing road record…we are 24th in goals for……with our road record and goal scoring it is incredible that we are 6th in the east…only 2 teams in the playoff have a worst goal differential also…every game price knows that to win he cannot give up 2 or more goals..especially on the road……we must have the most streaky forwards in the nhl that go from one extreme to the other..

    • habbifier says:

      Stats are for losers.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I’ll give a stat that is 100%: if we lose Price or PK to injury either Sat or in the playoffs we are deader than Don Cherry’s drycleaner.

        • whats with the avatar btw?

          • LA Loyalist says:

            I had one of my kid in his Saku Koivu ducks jersey, which just got me death threats, mostly, and the head bagger was supposed to be temporary when we switched over to “hockey inside/out” but I haven’t had a chance to come up with a new one. Actually, it’s kind of a parody of the generic silhouettes. I hope that eventually everyone will have avatars except one person, and then the silhouette will be definition be an avatar — or am I over-thinking this? I’m sure yours is interesting, but god knows what it is. Are these smaller than the old one?

          • yes i recall your old one

            i thought the bag was in congruence with your hypercriticism for the sake of criticizing

            mine is the result of taking a picture of yourself with a waterproof camera submerged in a dirty sink

            good times

  49. Rudy says:

    If in the first period, those idiots start crashing him, then replace him. The way this season has gone, would it surprise anyone if Carey gets hurt?

  50. ed lopaz says:

    to “no one’s surprise” ???

    As a guy who has been following NHL hockey for 40 years, I am in total disagreement with the move.

    Any number of “accidents” can happen; especially if the Leafs crowd and charge Price’s crease.

    I fail to see the logic of why we would take this chance.

    “rusty”??

    NHL goalies will not get rusty at this point in the season.

    this is a stupid decision all around.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • Mark C says:

      So you are saying there is no chance Price has rust if he had 8-9 day layoff between starts? We’re talking about a goalie going 8-9 days without facing live action and then starting on the road in a hostile environment, likely Boston, and needing to protect Montreal from the expected early onslaught.

      I fail to see how there is no logic in this thought process, yet it makes all the sense in the world to protect Price from the <1% chance he gets injured.

  51. Kooch7800 says:

    I think Price is playing so he doesn’t have a huge lay over between games and get to rusty. Having been off since Tuesday and game on Saturday is fine. Plus there is no real pressure in that game so that helps psychologically.

    Price will be fine for the playoffs. Our concern should be on offence. We need to score some goals

  52. Mike Bone says:

    That picture of Price always reminds me of the last line in The Farmer in the Dell: “The cheese stands alone.”

  53. JD_ says:

    “I have watched three hours then, mine eyes are weak.
    Fold down the Leaf when I have left, to bed.”
    – William Shakespeare, Cymbeline Act II, Scene II

    * In his comedy written some time in the early 1600s, Shakespeare – a noted Loafs fan, he had his warts – writes of exasperatingly watching his favourite team get eliminated yet again from the playoffs. It’s one thing to disappoint one of the most celebrated playwrights of all time, but to continue to let down generation upon generation of fans over the course of some four centuries and countin’, well, mere words don’t quite cut it, not even for the celebrated Bard of Avon. If you could somehow distill and bottle sad, well, sniff no further than the effluvium that is the Mopey Loafs.

    * Don’t know about you, but I absolutely want fans in other arenas to boo PK, the louder the better. Boo yer effin’ heads right off. Frankly, I wish more Habs were boo-worthy. There’s a reason a guy like Matt Gilroy never, ever gets booed and it ain’t for reasons he’s gonna wanna write home to momma.

    * Kinda tough to judge relative effort when you’re forced to watch the first two periods of last night’s game on the radio – listenin’ to Moffat on CJAD, every rush sounds like an impendin’ goal – but I gotta say: Tyin’ goals scored in the last ten seconds of a game sure are Good Times™. Know what else is Good Times™? Watchin’ PK skate circles around everyone. Hard to believe he’s just a kid. I’m gonna venture out there and say he nails his first Norris before he’s 27.

    * Broonz ‘n’ Habs are now 82% likely to meet in the first round. A guy like Cammy may be gettin’ his game back at this late point in the season, and his defensive play has made major strides, but the real test of where he’s at will come when Chara deliberately tries to drive his head into the stanchion. If the Habs have the mental fortitude to take the Broonz down with efficient, disciplined hockey, they’ll be in a much better mindset than they are right now to take on what is all but likely to be the Caps in round two. In other words, who doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it ‘n’ all that.

    * Brian Burke sux.

    • Bugs says:

      And on Hab fans, the Bard did say “how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.”

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

      • drivefor25 says:

        Shakespeare’s advice to Leafs fans for tomorrow night’s game: “And if you have tears, prepare to shed them now.”

        In addition to hockey, Shakespeare was also a huge fan of gymnastics: “Vaulting ambition, which o’er leaps itself. And falls on the other side.”

        Fan since ’71

        • Bugs says:

          On the upcoming draft of 1603: “If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me…cuz our GM is for sh*te.”
          (But I heard he edited that last part out afterwards.)

          Robustly ribald, here reposes L. B. Potter, esq.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Only one playwright could have done justice to the combination of low farce and soul-destroying tragedy that is the Maple Leafs. Can you not see these two as Leaf fans:

      ESTRAGON
      Why don’t we hang ourselves?
      VLADIMIR
      With what?
      ESTRAGON
      You haven’t got a bit of rope?
      VLADIMIR
      No.
      ESTRAGON
      Then we can’t.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        ESTRAGON
        All the dead voices.
        VLADIMIR
        They make a noise like wings.
        ESTRAGON
        Like leaves.
        VLADIMIR
        Like sand.
        ESTRAGON
        Like leaves.
        Silence.
        VLADIMIR
        They all speak at once.
        ESTRAGON
        Each one to itself.
        Silence.
        VLADIMIR
        Rather they whisper.
        ESTRAGON
        They rustle.
        VLADIMIR
        They murmur.
        ESTRAGON
        They rustle.
        Silence.
        VLADIMIR
        What do they say?
        ESTRAGON
        They talk about their lives.
        VLADIMIR
        To have lived is not enough for them.
        ESTRAGON
        They have to talk about it.
        VLADIMIR
        To be dead is not enough for them.
        ESTRAGON
        It is not sufficient.
        Silence.
        VLADIMIR
        They make a noise like feathers.
        ESTRAGON
        Like leaves.
        VLADIMIR
        Likes ashes.
        ESTRAGON
        Like leaves.

    • 24 Cups says:

      “At the door I’m knocking by the pale moonlight
      Lend a pen I pray, I’ve a word to write,
      Guttered is my candle, burns my fire no more,
      For the love of heaven, open now the door”.

      JD – I missed last night’s game as I was attending a sneak preview of the new AC/DC convert video that’s coming out next month. A great night out with many fine ladies in attendance. It would appear that I made the wise call in terms of a night’s entertainment.

      For those about to make the playoffs, we salute you….

      • JD_ says:

        AC/DC convert video, eh…

        “Rectifiers & Inverters: Your Electronic Friends”

        Nah, I know you meant concert, 24C and, yeah, chicks, sticks, and guitar licks is always more fun, Stanley Cup Final Game 7 OT, excepted.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      What if it’s a toll bridge?

  54. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I would like to know the importance of tomorrow night’s game & giving Price the start. We will finish no worse than 7th and why is it that we want to play the Bruins and no one else. Is there a guarantee we will beat Boston? I for one don’t care who we play and I don’t trust the Leafs game plan tomorrow night because they’ll go out and intentionally try to hurt someone.

  55. Bugs says:

    Last year in the playoffs, we saw Jack Marty distribute ice-time according to individual performance.
    As such, I don’t think I would be proposing anything too radical by sayin Soobie should be given 30 mins a game if possible.

    And the Priceberg, 60.

    Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

    • habs001 says:

      thats fine if you can win a series fast…but playoff hockey is more physical than regular season…you can have overtime games go 2+ periods..there is no way the habs can go 3-4 rounds by playing their key players as much as martin does….this is why the keys for the habs are pouliot,darche,eller and dd …if this guys play 5-8 minutes a game because their performance does not warrant more, we are in big trouble

      • Bugs says:

        Darche and Dezzy, I believe can and will contribute.
        The other two….eeeesh…we’ll see. If THEY are the “keys”, we might be in a spot of trouble.

        Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  56. larisalapointe says:

    Ok all this talk about Price being hurt is attracting negative energy to him.

    He’s a big boy…he flattened PK didn’t he?

    It would be worse for him to sit out 9(?) days and then have Lucic go after him. Besides, he could get injured at practice, so should he skip that too? Or if he has stairs at home, maybe he should stay off them?

  57. habs365 says:

    Toronto is gonna play to win no matter whom you put on the ice – there’s jobs on the line for the Leafs.

    • Bugs says:

      Yep, good ‘ole Toranna; always playin to win, they is, eh?
      What’s really funny though is that even if they win, we’re still in and they’re still out.

      Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  58. JF says:

    I admit to being surprised. Price has looked tired lately, not so much during the games as after. And Auld played well enough to win last night, if the team in front of him hadn’t faded in the third and OT. I’d actually be tempted to sit a bunch of our stars and veterans and call up some of the Bulldogs, both to avoid the risk of injury and to give our guys some rest.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think getting a point last night means we definitely won’t face the Caps (IMO the toughest challenge). Flyers and Sabres play tonight; if the Sabres win, it means the Flyers can’t catch the Caps, who will finish in first; if the Flyers win, the Sabres can only get 94 points, and we hold the tiebreak for sixth. Oh, wait… I was forgetting OT. If the Sabres lose in OT, they could still get 95 points, Philly could still finish first… I guess nothing is settled after all. Rats.

  59. JIMVINNY says:

    I’m not concerned about Price getting hurt due to rough play by the leafs. We’ve been unlucky when it comes to injuries against TO in the last game of past seasons, but I don’t think Price is in any danger. PK, Pleks, Cammy, and Gio, now those guys better keep their heads up. The laffs will be gunning for us, and it’s our pint sized forwards that we need to be concerned with.

  60. veryhabby says:

    Maybe I’m the only one who isn’t worried about Price getting injured? It’s been 71 games and he hasn’t been injured yet, everyone seems to think that the leafs will purposely try to injure the guy? Why? Have the leafs tried to purposely injure a player from another team all season long? I get that injuries can happen any time, but you can’t be afraid to play your players. A week off is pretty long for a goalie. He’ll get his rest, but he will want to play a game to be better prepared for the playoffs. I have no issue with him playing on Saturday. Unless you are hurt, you play. I would tho, call up a goon from Hamilton just to make sure no one takes any unnecessary runs. But really Leafs don’t have any goons, Orr is out and Rosehill barely plays.

  61. nek25plus says:

    Personally, I would have had Price play ing Ottawa and Auld in Toronto if I was going to break it up. But, like others, I don’t see why they don’t put Auld in net for both.

  62. 24 Cups says:

    A question for readers who live in the province of Quebec. Could Quebec City’s Colisee be in reasonable enough shape to ice a team for two or three years, or is it close to being ready for the wrecking ball? Please keep in mind the demands of today’s fans as well as the ticket prices that would have to be charged for a budget of say $55M. I’m assuming it doesn’t have many private boxes for corporate support.

    I’m only asking this because it appears the situation in Atlanta is getting pretty dicey. Not making the playoffs just might be the final straw.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      I think the Colisee holds a bit over 15K, which is roughly the NHL average. There is no way it wouldn’t be sold out every night in the team’s first year.

      I think the team could survive. Remember also that they would be eligible for revenue sharing.

      Finally, if Peladeau is the owner, he will also have the possibility of showing the games on Videotron, earning him more dollars.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        A lot more than currently show up in Atlanta or phoenix

      • HabsFanInTampa says:

        Why would they survive there now? When they couldn’t survive at the Colisee there in the 90’s?

      • 24 Cups says:

        Paul – I only asked because it would appear that Altanta is #2 on the crisis list for NHL bleeders. Phoenix to Winnipeg seems to be a lock so the only other viable location is Kansas City or Quebec City. There’s also Hamilton (Bascille sp?) but I think there is way too much bad blood right now for that to happen any time soon.

    • Habfan29 says:

      no private boxes at all

    • LA Loyalist says:

      I read recently (sorry I can’t cite exactly) that a bare bones re-model (refrigeration, boards, glass, new lines for the draft beer machines…) would be $2 million and could be done pretty quickly.

      Though I am personally against government money for such things, as a hockey fan I sure hope it happens. Those Habs/Diques games were legendary.

  63. Mark C says:

    I know many people are worried about the >1% chance Price gets hurt against the Leafs, but it’s worth noting that if Price doesn’t play Saturday, he would have gone 8 or 9 days without facing live action. I would guess Price wouldn’t feel comfortable with that long of a layoff leading into the playoffs. Do we really want him starting in a hostile environment like Boston without playing in over a week?

    • 24 Cups says:

      Exactly, Mark. Price has to play Saturday.

      If Hab fans were worried about the laffs hurting Price, then they should have had him play against Ottawa with Auld facing Toronto.

      If Buffalo loses tonight, it won’t matter and we can rest all our old guys (except MB).

      • Mark C says:

        Goalies, especially ones on their game don’t want to sit for long periods of time. The odds he gets injured are so low, what are the Laffs gonna do? Become human bowling balls? From a rest stand point, one game in 8-9 days isn’t worse than having all those days off. Price needs to be sharp and ready to play come Wednesday or Thursday night. Best way to achieve that is for him to play Saturday night.

    • ed lopaz says:

      Mark – 2 days removed from the Thursday lay over – which is already in place.

      You`re telling me that resting from Sunday to Thursday is totally fine,
      but resting from Tuesday to Thursday is totally unacceptable

      I totally disagree.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • Mark C says:

        I’m saying not playing for 8-9 days MIGHT be too long for a goalie. If Price plays tomorrow he’ll have 3-4 off of live action before the playoffs. Playing 0 games over those 8-9 isn’t going to make Price that much more rested than playing 1 game over theat time.

  64. adam76 says:

    Price against a classless, gutless team like Toronto? I worry, both for Price an PK.

    • habbifier says:

      I understand the fear of an injury, but why would Price and PK be in top shape all year only to get injured in game 82? It can happen…just like it could’ve happened during any other game. If it’s the opponent, then how exactly are the leafs classless and gutless? Please explain.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        I agree – the Leafs are not “classless” (except maybe for Komi and Grabitchky). It is not their fault Don Cherry supports them.

        Arguments for Price playing:

        1. Stay sharp.

        2. National telecast.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Stuff happens all the time, nothing to do with Leafs.

        Kopitar’s injury was nothing, a light check, but he caught a rut or fell wrong and BOOM! Kings’ top scorer gone for the year.

        I personally would not play Price or PK as pure risk management.

        Now the next concern will be the liberties teams will try and take on Price and PK in the playoffs knowing we are d*ckless and soft.

        We don’t have the killer power play we used to have that would punish that stuff.

        If you guys aren’t worried about that you should be. Especially if we are going to take a lot of dumb penalties.

  65. secretdragonfly says:

    Since I’ll be at the game, I’m happy Price is in for purely selfish reasons, however, I am concerned about the potential for injury. I hope Martin has his “protect the goalie” speech all set and ready to go.

  66. Danno says:

    Maybe I’m overlooking something but Auld played well last night so why not rest Price so he’s fresh for the playoffs. If we were to lose him due to some stupidity in a relatively meaningless game, well, that would be tragic.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    http://dennis-kane.com/

  67. There’s no team as good at injuring our stars as the Leafs. If it were me, these would be the lines in a game that doesn’t matter,

    AK-Eller-Gionta
    Darche-Gomez-Dawes
    Pouliot-Desharnais-White
    Moen-Engqvist-Pyatt

    Spacek-Wiz
    Picard-Sopel
    Weber-Mara

    Sit: Hamrlik, Gill, Subban, Plekanec, Cammy, Halpern

    • 24 Cups says:

      co – You can’t sit Subban or Cammy. Subban would be labelled a candy ass and Cammalleri needs to keep his groove.

      Speaking of timmy tykes, what would Philly or Boston think if we fielded your proposed line-up?

      We’re in trouble if Halpern can’t start in the playoffs.

      Speaking of the playoffs, when the hell is Moen going to start doing what he’s supposed to do?

      • I’d rather be labelled a candyass than risk a cheap shot injuring a key player in a game that doesn’t matter. If we were playing Vancouver it would be different, but the Leafs can’t stand us, and we’ve got an ominous history of injuries to key players in games against them.

        As for what Boston or Philly would think, let them think what they like — in the first round though, we’d better bring our A games…

        Totally agree about Halpern — he’s one of the Habs with the highest ratio of value to salary in my opinion, and losing him would be a big blow.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Ovechkin took a week off. If he’s a candy ass I’ll take 3, to go, all-dress.

  68. TINMAN17 says:

    Anybody think there will be a Subban-Lupul dust up at some point? Lupul was awfully upset with PK last time we played, remember his cry-baby routine in post game interview. Rest Subban, if he goes down we’re screwed. If the Sabres lose tonight then play Auld.

    Born and Bred in Enemy Territory (Boston).

  69. LA Loyalist says:

    Light a freaking candle and sacrifice a chicken that Price doesn’t get hurt, that’s all I can say.

  70. CHsam says:

    therapy day

  71. Remi says:

    figured they would rest him :S….on another note, anyone think the Habs should resign wisniewski for next year??? I wouldnt let him become a free agent, if it was up to me, he would already be resigned….

    • Favorite Son says:

      I think it all depends on Markov. He’s probably the priority, followed by Gorges and Gill or Hamrlik.

    • Mark C says:

      You’d have to back up the Brink’s truck to get Wiz signed before free agency, I think we’re talking $4.5-5M AAV, for starters.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Wiz is 5th in scoring in the league among d-men. Here are the other top ten (who are also past UFA status) and their salary:

      Visnovsky 5.6M
      Lidstrom 6.2M
      Byfuglien 5.2M (starting next year)
      Boyle 6.6M
      Rafalski 6M

      • Remi says:

        probably on his way out then you would say?

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          Although I would put Wiz somewhat below these players, and also below the other top ten scorers (e.g. Letang, Weber).

          That being said he plays lots of minutes and is not the defensive liability many people say he is. (He is a +3 on the Habs).

          The most recently signed player on that list is Byfuglien (5.2M). I would put Wiz a notch below Big Buff. That doesn’t mean he won’t get more money, but I think he is looking at 4.5 to 5M.

          Should we pay that much?

          Yes.

          Where else are you going to find a puck moving defenceman who scores 0.7 ppg?

          Caveat: there is the Quebec income tax bonus to think about…

      • dbsanfte says:

        Bury Gomez’ salary in the minors and we could swing it.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I’d love to sign Wiz, I guess it depends on the $.

        Visnovsky, by the way, is worth his $5.6, luckily Ducks have Fowler also, who, like PK, is, for the moment, cheap to offset Visnovsky.

  72. habsindepth says:

    While It’s good that the Habs are going in the game with the “Winning” mindset, let’s hope nothing crazy happens in the game!

    Here’s hoping that Carey will get his third shutout tomorrow night against the Laughs and the Habs will carry that momentum against the first round team.

    ===================================
    Web: http://www.habsindepth.com – For the Fanatics
    Twitter: @habsindepth
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hidpage

  73. mrhabby says:

    i was hoping for auld…stupid , crazy stuff happens when these 2 teams play…maybe he plays for 1/2 the game.

    ps…can’t wait for dumbo to speak.

  74. fbkj says:

    meh… i was hoping it would be auld, taking away any motivation from the leafs


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